Does conflict bother you? Will you do almost anything to avoid conflict? Does it give you a knot in your stomach when dissent or conflict arises? Are you not only uncomfortable with conflict but actually fear dealing with it? If so then this article will help you get over your fear of conflict. I can’t promise that you will ever like conflict situations but you will at least be able to deal with it without the negative emotions you now feel about it. That will be a great relief to you.
- First examine your beliefs about conflict. Chances are that you believe conflict is always a bad thing. Can you think of any times when it was a good thing? Conflict is necessary for us to grow. Conflict does not have to be threatening. It can be a matter of seeing things in a different light or having different opinions on something. When you think about it survival of the fittest in the plant world is a kind of conflict that results in us being able to grow the strongest and healthiest strains of plants. That is a good thing. When we learn from people who have different opinions and different knowledge and experiences than we have that too is a good thing.
- Conflict does not have to result in one person winning and one person losing. There can be plenty of compromise around conflict and both parties can end up winning. If you work from common ground when managing conflict then win-win can be achieved.
- Reframe your concept of conflict resolution to conflict management. We will always have conflict in our lives. It can not all be resolved and it can not all go our way. Conflict can be managed however. You can work for the best solutions for everyone involved.
- Conflict does not have to mean negative confrontation. It can be a healthy dialogue between two thinking people. When you let emotions get involved conflict can get difficult to manage. Try to change your thinking about conflict as confrontation to conflict as a conversation between people with different points of view.
- Be well prepared when you need to be involved in a situation where there is conflict. Know what you want and what you are willing to compromise on. Be totally prepared to compromise on some things so that you can get to a mutually acceptable solution.
- Understand that sometimes conflict will be tough. You may have to stand your ground but be ready to do it with as little emotion involved as possible. Emotion clouds our thinking and often keeps us from seeing the larger picture which is a necessary ingredient to conflict management.
Hopefully these few guidelines will help you approach conflict with a different mindset and will help take some of the fear out of conflict situations.